Recruiting dinner scores big

The flyer for the first annual Oregon State recruiting dinner read, "wear game day attire" and most Beaver fans took that statement to heart as a cloud of orange and black descended on the Embassy Suites in Tigard on Wednesday. Despite the dinner falling on a weekday night, Beaver Nation liberally downed enough brewskies to make any tailgater proud.

In a festive atmosphere complete with enough orange, black, and white balloons to make one think they were in a Beaver-themed gumball machine, over five hundred Beaver fans, including the entire football staff, gorged themselves on a steak or chicken dinner as Beaver football highlights flickered across two giant screens flanking the podium. Behind the podium stood a mass of white and orange balloons arranged to look like a goal post.

Mike Parker reads the raffle ticket prices.

The voice of the Beavers and master of ceremonies Mike Parker got the program started by announcing the winners of the raffle ticket prizes that included Oregon State football field passes, golf lessons, and even a year’s worth of Tillamook 1/2 gallon ice cream. Following the delightful screams and grins of the raffle winners and jealous glances of the losers Parker introduced OSU athletic director Bob DeCarolis to a raucous standing ovation in appreciation for scheduling Louisiana State.

After the clapping died down, DeCarolis commented, "We haven't played there yet! If we win, I'll take the credit. If not, it's Mike's fault!"

DeCarolis said the ticket office had been swamped with calls all week long about away game tickets for LSU. He said the away game ticket application will be mailed out April 1 and the Beavers expect to receive a 5,000 seat allotment -- which they expect to sell out.

The energetic man then turned to his passion, the Raising Reser project. There will be an official announcement coming this Wednesday about the progress of the project. After a good week of fundraising, he said they are well over the $20 million dollar mark and are down to 50 seats left in the lower bowl on the east side. He expects to break ground on the project May 1.

DeCarolis ended his speech by introducing Mike Riley who was greeted by 500 Beaver fans on their feet, yelling and screaming. "It's not over," said the Beaver head coach. "There is still a Mike Hass out there. When we find him, we will recruit him hard!"

Lots of orange from the 500 plus Beaver fans that attended the first annual event.

Riley then individually thanked all involved, including the entire football staff, before turning the program over to defensive coordinator Mark Banker who discussed the recruits on the defensive side of the ball. Offensive coordinator Paul Chryst discussed the recruits on the offensive side of the ball after Banker was done.
Oohs and ahhs filled the room as game footage of the recruits played on the screens with the voices of the coaches providing commentary on the players.

Linebacker Alan Darlin, running back Keith Johnson and wide receiver Burnell Wallace's footage received the most admiration as Darlin showed his ability to lay the big hit, Johnson displayed his speed, and Wallace showcased why he will be a game breaker in college.

Riley then returned to the podium, thanked Beaver Nation and released an excited group of people into the night.
More coverage including comments by the coaches on the each recruit can be found on the premium message board.

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